Business Week Index

PRODUCTION INDEX

The production index declined slightly in the latest week, and the index

before calculation of the four-week moving average took an even larger spill.

It fell to 134.2, from 135.6 in the previous week. On a seasonally adjusted

basis, production levels of steel, coal, lumber, and rail-freight traffic

declined. The unseasonably warm weather caused a sharp drop in electric

output. Auto and truck production were up.

BW production index copyright 1998 Bloomberg L.P.

BusinessWeek Index
PRODUCTION INDICATORS
                                                        LATEST    WEEK      YEARLY
                                                        WEEK      AGO       % CHG
      STEEL (12/12) thous. of net tons                  1,881     1,747#    -12.9
      AUTOS (12/12) units                               129,233   125,571r   -1.9
      TRUCKS (12/12) units                              157,604   154,991r    2.3
      ELECTRIC POWER (12/12) millions of kilowatt-hrs.  63,764    60,029#    -5.7
      CRUDE-OIL REFINING (12/12) thous. of bbl./day     14,353    14,226#    -4.2
      COAL (12/5) thous. of net tons                    22,827#   20,500      3.6
      LUMBER (12/5) millions of ft.                     459.8#    326.5       0.8
      RAIL FREIGHT (12/5) billions of ton-miles         29.2#     23.9        3.5
      
      Sources: American Iron & Steel Institute, Ward's Automotive Reports, Edison 
      Electric Institute, American Petroleum Institute, Energy Dept., WWPA1, SFPA2, 
      Association of American Railroads
      
      LEADING INDICATORS
                                                        LATEST    WEEK      YEARLY
                                                        WEEK      AGO       % CHG
      STOCK PRICES (12/11) S&P 500                      1166.46   1176.74    22.3
      CORPORATE BOND YIELD, Aaa (12/11)                 6.20%     6.22%      -9.4
      MONEY SUPPLY, M2 (11/30) billions                 $4,376.2  $4,378.7r   8.4
      INITIAL CLAIMS, UNEMPLOYMENT (12/4) thous.        314       313 r      -0.3
      MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, PURCHASE (12/11)           277.2     299.6      18.0
      MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, REFINANCE (12/11)          1,879.1   2,055.1   127.1
      
      Sources: Standard & Poor's, Moody's, Federal Reserve, Labor Dept., Mortgage 
      Bankers Assn. (Index: March 16, 1990=100)
      
      PRICES
                                                        LATEST    WEEK      YEARLY
                                                        WEEK      AGO       % CHG
      GOLD (12/16) $/troy oz.                           294.100   294.200     2.2
      STEEL SCRAP (12/15) #1 heavy, $/ton               85.50     85.50     -40.4
      COPPER (12/11)  cents/lb.                         70.2      72.4       -4.9
      ALUMINUM (12/11)  cents/lb.                       61.0      62.5      -20.1
      COTTON (12/11) strict low middling
       1-1/16 in., cents/lb.                            63.60     64.33      -1.4
      OIL (12/15) $/bbl.                                11.33     11.02     -37.1
      CRB FOODSTUFFS (12/15) 1967=100                   187.14    196.95    -20.8
      CRB RAW INDUSTRIALS (12/15) 1967=100              265.74    266.57    -13.6
      
      Sources: London Wednesday final setting, Chicago market, Metals Week, Memphis 
      market, NYMEX, Commodity Research Bureau
      
      INTEREST RATES
                                                        LATEST    WEEK      YEAR
                                                        WEEK      AGO       AGO
      FEDERAL FUNDS (12/15)                             5.10%     4.66%     5.56%
      COMMERCIAL PAPER (12/15) 3-month                  5.00      5.00      5.70
      CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT (12/16) 3-month           5.14      5.12      5.80
      FIXED MORTGAGE (12/11) 30-year                    6.89      6.89      7.35
      ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE (12/11) one-year              5.71      5.74      5.85
      PRIME (12/11)                                     7.75      7.75      8.50
      
      Sources: Federal Reserve, HSH Associates, Bloomberg Financial Markets
      
      FOREIGN EXCHANGE
                                                        LATEST    WEEK      YEAR
                                                        WEEK      AGO       AGO
      JAPANESE YEN (12/16)                              116.47    117.96    126.83
      GERMAN MARK (12/16)                               1.67      1.67      1.77
      BRITISH POUND (12/16)                             1.67      1.66      1.65
      FRENCH FRANC (12/16)                              5.61      5.60      5.92
      ITALIAN LIRA (12/16)                              1656.0    1651.8    1734.5
      CANADIAN DOLLAR (12/16)                           1.54      1.54      1.42
      MEXICAN PESO (12/16)3                             9.883     9.955     8.105
      TRADE-WEIGHTED DOLLAR INDEX (12/16)               106.0     106.9     108.4
      
      Sources: Major New York banks. Currencies expressed in units per U.S. dollar, 
      except for British pound in dollars. Trade-weighted dollar via J.P. Morgan.
      
      #Raw data in the production indicators are seasonally adjusted in computing 
      the BW index (chart); other components (estimated and not listed) include 
      machinery and defense equipment. 1=Western Wood Products Assn.   2=Southern 
      Forest Products Assn. 3=Free market value   NA=Not available   r=revised   
      NM=Not meaningful